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Will Brexit affect my website?

Mark Tomkins - Creative Director at Aubergine
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Whatever the deal, leaving the EU is likely to have an impact on your website and data collection. Find out what you need to check.

If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on the 31st of October this year, there are likely to be implications for your website if it collects or transfers personal data – and you may need to update your privacy policy, too.

All organisations updated their website data collection practices and privacy policy following the introduction of the GDPR on the 25th of May 2018.

Those practices and policies reflected UK law and EU law at that time. If your business operates solely within the UK, it’s unlikely you will need to make any changes for now.

There are two potential scenarios – a ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

Should there be a deal, the likelihood is that existing legislation will carry over, as the details of the ‘divorce’ are negotiated over the ensuing 2 (or more) years.

However, should it be a no-deal Brexit, a website that transfers personal data to and/or from the EU will need to make changes to their data collection practices, and the policies published on their website should be updated to reflect these (it is unlikely that businesses who operate solely in the UK will need to make any changes). To understand these changes, we recommend the ICO’s website and their dedicated section on data protection and Brexit: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-brexit/

From a website perspective, typical things for you to check include:

  • Google analytics and other visitor tracking software running on your website. Check to see if Google and other third parties with which you share data require you to agree to new privacy terms with them
  • Any agreements you have with third parties regarding data processing, for example payment processors, CRM (customer relations management) services or databases especially
  • If your website has online subscribers/members, the contractual terms and conditions may need to change and the storage policy be reviewed
  • Any Apple and Android apps you own and operate will be transferring data across borders by their very nature – you will probably be required to agree new privacy terms with Apple/Google and the users of the app

Visit www.ico.gov.uk for more information. They also have a very good free telephone helpline if you want to speak to someone for advice.